Tuesday, May 11, 2010

TWD: Quick Classic Berry Tart


I am going to take my inspiration from this week's TWD recipe, Quick Classic Berry Tart, and submit a Quick (non)Classic Post. As has been the case with all of Dorie's tarts, this one was amazingly good and deceptively easy to make. It involves three components, two of which can be made ahead of time, and the third of which is fruit placement. Even I can't mess that up (although I can make it look less aesthetically pleasing than you). Part one is the sweet tart dough, which I have made and discussed here many times. Same old story -- I think I'm overhandling the dough, I probably AM overhandling the dough, but the taste and texture is of the tart crust ends up wonderful anyway. I can only imagine how great it must be when it is not overhandled. The great thing about the crust is that it actually needs to be frozen for a bit before it is baked, and while the recipe only requires a short stint in the freezer, you can keep the unbaked crust in there for days, weeks, months ahead of time! Perfect for the tart maker on the go!

Dorie's pastry cream is to die for delicious. I can usually take or leave puddings, custards, etc., as I generally prefer for there to be flour somewhere in my desserts, yet whenever I taste this pastry cream I have this crazy urge to tuck the bowl under my arm like a football and protect it from people who might try to strip it away from me. Then I remember, "oh yeah, I bake as a way to show people that I love them!" and I put the bowl down. Anyway, I've made Dorie's pastry cream several times for various recipes and have never had any trouble with it. It thickens easily and is rich, smooth and delicious. And it can be made a day or two ahead of time and refrigerated until it's time to assemble the tart. It's pretty much perfect -- I don't know why I'd ever want to make a different pastry cream.



The fruit placement segment of this dessert is our chance to flex our creative muscles. I went with randomly scattered berries, which seemed to suit my lifestyle more than some kind of orderly pattern.

Then brush the fruit with a jam glaze (I guess that's a fourth component), and you're done!

The result is a beautiful, impressive dessert that is really no more difficult to make than brownies (in fact, for me, it might be easier than brownies, since I'm riding a long streak of underbaking brownies). I made this when we had some friends over for dinner, and it was a huge hit. Dorie says that it's best the same day once it's assembled, but David and I enjoyed it the next day as well. This tart is now my go-to spring and summer dessert.

Cristine of Cooking with Cristine picked this tart. Great pick, Cristine!

23 comments:

Bridgett said...

I love her sweet tart dough as well and always think I am overworking it too. This tart always comes out so pretty with the gorgeous fruit on top. Yours reminds me I need to make another soon for the warming weather.

Marthe said...

I probably overwork the sweet tart dough every time I make it, but that's the risk you take when you don't own a food processor and have to do it by hand.... I do love the tart dough though!

I totally forgot to add the jam glaze... Guess I have to make some more tartlets now :) Still have some pastry cream leftover...

Di said...

The only thing better than Dorie's pastry cream...is Dorie's chocolate pastry cream. =P That's what we're having with our tart. Now if I can just get the crust baked... Your tart looks fabulous!

Leslie said...

I LOVE the photo of the slice! Your pastry cream looks absolutely perfect! I had to take a bit of a shortcut this week but it was still delicious.

Mary Ann said...

Looks gorgeous. I love how easy this one was too.

Kayte said...

I will run interference for you with the bowl of pastry cream if you promise to share...it's that good! I always have trouble with this dough, this was the first time I didn't, so not a clue what I am doing right or wrong with it. I thought I had my berries arranged fairly nicely until I saw Tracey's...yep, Tracey did one fine job. Yours looks great, I love the random scattering of berries, always fun to figure out just which slice you want according to the berry selection. Looks great!

Mary said...

I think a truly wonderful TWD dessert pick would be the pastry cream and a large spoon....just that, nothing else.

Flourchild said...

Your tart is beautiful and all the fruit looks so shiny and pretty!
Im glad you and your family enjoyed this recipe!

Clivia said...

I agree. This is a most impressive no fail recipe. Your tart looks lovely!

Maria said...

I love that it is easy and impressive! My kind of dessert!

Jessica said...

Pretty! I agree, Dorie's pastry cream is to-die-for.

Tia said...

I agree with everyone else, your tart looks great. Presentation = A+

Cristine said...

Your tart looks gorgeous! Thanks for baking with me!

Mary said...

Your tart looks amazing! I loved all the components of this, and am so glad I have crust and pastry cream left over. Just looking for a spoon now...

Nickki said...

Your tart looks amazing! I know what you mean about the tart dough. I love it, but I always get the feeling I'm over-working it. The pastry cream is so delicious!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

I always stress about that overhandling issue with the tart crust too, but maybe we're doing it perfectly!? At any rate, "taste rules" and this tart is supreme ruler for life as far as I'm concerned. Perfect dessert for the warmer months, with a variety of fruit strewn, artistically or not, on top. Great job and the seasonal photos are great.

Katrina said...

I love that---"perfect for the tart-maker on the go!"
And yay for your love of the pastry cream. I like it, too, but lamed out with instant pudding to save myself some fat and calories. Someday I want to make the true tart. Maybe when berries are more in season, they're darn expensive here!

The Mortensens said...

I love this tart too. The crust, and cream are wonderful--no need to find a new recipe! Yours looks delicious! :)

natalia said...

Ciao cathy ! Overworking or not is the question , in the scone case I surely underworked it ! I love your style !Baci

TeaLady said...

It is hard not to overwork a dough when you are PRESSING it into a tart pan. And yes, I could eat the pastry cream alone. In fact, I have some leftover in the fridge which is calling my name. Maybe just a few strawberries on the side.

Your tart LOOKS lovely.

The Blonde Duck said...

ITs so pretty!

Tracey said...

Definitely agree on the tart dough Cathy but it always tastes yummy so I never worry too much. I tucked one of the mini shells into the freezer and have been debating the perfect use for it :) I wonder if I'd love pastry cream if I was able to make it successfully? It's never really appealed to me but maybe that's because mine never quite comes out right. In any event, your tart is gorgeous!

Jacque said...

Mmm, looks perfect! I will have to try blackberries next time, yours look extra yummy.

 
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